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September 14, 2017 5:42 pm

Israel and Colombia to Deepen Bilateral Ties Following Netanyahu Visit

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at Bogota’s presidential palace, Sept. 13. Photo: Avi Ohayon / GPO. – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarked on a short visit to the Colombian capital of Bogota on Wednesday, to discuss collaboration with leaders of the Latin American country.

Netanyahu was welcomed with an honor guard ceremony upon arrival and met privately with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at Bogota’s presidential palace.

“Your country has been a friend and ally of Colombia and recently a great ally in the construction of peace in the country,” Santos said. “We would like to strengthen this magnificent relationship.”

The leaders discussed deepening bilateral cooperation in the fields of agriculture and water technology as well as cyber defense and innovation. They also signed bilateral agreements in the fields of science and tourism.

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“We have cooperated in the past on security; we stand ready to cooperate in the future,” Netanyahu said.

“Israel is an innovation nation. Colombia has outstanding capabilities and people. We’d like to merge them together,” he added, before announcing the “rekindling and refinancing” of the Columbia Israel Innovation Fund.

Netanyahu and Santos also agreed that a Colombian cyber delegation would visit the Jewish state to receive advanced training from Israeli experts, according to a statement by Netanyahu’s office.

Netanyahu also expressed support for Colombia’s accession to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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